Monday, January 4, 2010

And a Happy 2010 to you.

According to my "Get Your Words Out" spreadsheet, I wrote 108,213 words of fiction in 2009. I fell short of my goal of 200,000.

Though, knowing me, I probably wrote more than that and forgot to record it.

And when you add in blogging and private journaling and the writing I do for work, I probably jetted past the 2k mark. (Though such words don't count for this challenge.)

So, in all, not too shabby a year. Word-wise, at least. The rest of the year...well, let's not dredge that up. It's not all bad. The came at intervals.

Let's look ahead.

2010 is off to a slow start.

I blame the weather. (Between you and me, I've largely been lazy, but I maintain the weather plays a part. It's been below freezing; my blood turns to ice. Seven years in the desert removed whatever cold resistance I built up during three years in Germany.)

On Friday I finished Stephen King's Under the Dome, a book which I hadn't planned on reading but picked up post-Christmas at B&N and got sucked into. Took me five days. I could have finished it sooner had I not needed to take breaks from it every so often because some of the characters were so corrupt and downright evil that I just couldn't turn another page without taking a breather.

I enjoyed that aspect very much.

King is wonderful at writing corrupt, power-hungry fundie-religious political characters with good ol' boy syndrome.

And dogs. Mustn't forget the dogs. Heroic Corgis and German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers.

Saturday and Sunday, I spent curled up in my bedroom in my apartment, with my heating pad, my laptop, and piles of pillows and blankets as well as four cats--who rotated their presence in the room, occasionally napping on my lap and sharing their furry little body heat--drinking coffee, tea and having a Xenomorph marathon (Aliens Quadrilogy, AVP, and AVP: Requiem).

In those two days, I managed to write...wait for it...a paragraph.

Not even a good paragraph.

It's a load bearing paragraph.

And the load it bears isn't that much. But it's a footstep back into the short story I was working on before I got sucked into NaNoWriMo '09, so I won't complain too much; I can't expect the characters and the mood to just jump at me with open arms after a two months long abandonment. (While I didn't do much during December, I did manage to wrangle some research for the NaNo re-draft and do some plot journaling.)

This story is next on my plate--as I continue to fiddle with the NaNo re-draft--something short and fairly contained that I can have a reasonable expectation of completing in a couple of days to a week.

If the seat of the pants keeps to the seat of the chair.

I digress, to say that all of this is, in a roundabout fashion, leading to my tasks for the year.

Not resolutions, because resolutions get broken.

Tasks. I'm used to tasks.

The tasks?

To stop making excuses for my lack of writing. If I don't write, it's because--barring heavy illness or broken fingers or major emergency (fire, flood, hemorrhage, etc)--I didn't want to.

To wrangle the muse if he or she's in reach; to trudge forward if he or she isn't.

To write fiction everyday, even if it's only 100 words.

To write fiction sporadically, if need be, instead of waiting for a stretch of time in which to settle down and write.

To tell my Inner Critic to fuck off whenever she starts to come out during the drafting process.

To allow myself to write shitty first drafts.

To allow myself to write shitty second drafts.

To allow myself time, without guilt, to chase some of those strange and interesting topics that have nothing to do with my story when I come across them while researching. (You never know, they could come in handy later.)

To allow myself time to read without feeling guilty about the fact that I'm not writing.

To put words before play. 100-500 words and then I can read Facebook or check the blogs I follow. 600-1100 words and then I can play an hour of Borderlands. Or Arkham Asylum. Or whatever other game is currently swallowing my psyche. (Games are wonderful inspiration for me, especially atmospheric RPGs, but they're a double edged sword.)

To submit "Drawing Shadows" to the next market on the list and not worry about whether or not it will be rejected, but enjoy the fact that it's out there, making the rounds.

To submit the flash pieces I've been sitting on for the last six months.

To worry less about being an author...

...and focus more on being a writer. With all the headaches and annoyances and neuroses and pleasures and internal successes that writing brings.

At the moment, I'm at work, sitting in my icy cubicle--in my corner, I get the brunt of winter chill and summer heat--and trying to reconfigure my brain after having taken a week and a half off for the holidays. I'm going into a meeting at 10:30. I'll probably have internal meet ups before that.

But, until then, I'm going to refill my coffee cup.

And write 100 words.

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